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Life pension for Govs, Legislators, to be or not

Life pension for Govs, Legislators, to be or not

Some states recently approached their legislative Houses to authorize monthly life pension for ex-legislators. The Hope Classic sought legal opinions on the desirability and legality of the proposal. Excerpts:

Mr Charles Titiloye, an Akure-based legal practitioner and human rights activist

The action of some state legislators to make law for life pension is a clear case of abuse of power. It is a law meant to confer undue advantage on the lawmakers over every other citizen. It’s quite an immoral law that cannot be legally justified.
Pensions are only payable to those who have served as career officers in services of government for a minimum of 10 years.
Lawmakers are elected public officers, whose tenure is for four years. They are not qualified for pension within the context of their length of service. Their offices are dully packaged with a lot of allowances which render pension as an attempt to shortchange the people.

Such law brought under judicial scrutiny of courts will be nullified. It is unconstitutional and invalid in a country like ours, where there is widespread poverty, unemployment and over bloated government recurrent expenditure which has impeded the ability of government to spend its revenue on capital projects.

Mr Tosin Sunday Eye, an Akure-based legal practitioner
Constitutionally, there is no provision that provides for life pension for legislators. In fact, it is absolutely unnecessary and more of an act of corruption, abuse of power for politicians, legislators to create laws for the purpose of conferring on themselves continuous wages in form of pensions even after leaving their elected office.
As always, our political landscape is filled with unscrupulous politicians who are hardly interested in the people who voted them into office they occupy but their selfish goals.

Omoba Adekunle Adetowubo, former Chairman, NBA Ondo branch /Civil Rights Activist
The Nigerian Constitution did not classify politicians as career office holders to warrant the grant of pensions.
The tenure of legislators are meant to run for a period of time subject to re-election, but without limitations. And this informs the reasons why we have some legislators being elected for several terms, unlike the President or Governor whose tenures are defined in the constitution.
I am of the considered view that life pension for politicians is unconstitutional and not necessary as such attempt amounts to ripping off the people. The politicians earn more than they deserve and alloted money to themselves without regard to the suffering masses.
Imagine a politician who spent only four years in office and who is not re-elected, compared to civil servants who spent thirty five years in service, who deserves pension.
In my own estimation, such life pension should not be allowed to stand.
They do not deserve it and it is a rip off on our collective tax system.

Mr Kehinde Aladedutire, an Akure-based legal practitioner
It smacks of insensitivity to the plight of the citizens of this country for our lawmakers to even think of such proposal.
This is a country where minimum wage for even the tax payers are not paid regularly. This is a country where citizens who have worked for 35 years are not being paid their pension which they are, of course, entitled to for months. Here we are where we have people who were only elected for a term of four or eight years proposing life pension for themselves.
It is unconstitutional and that is basic. These are people who are already earning stupendous amount of tax payers money, having fleet of cars and leaving in palatial buildings. Why will they not be killing themselves to get elected to the National and State House of Assemblies when they know it is like government jobs where they would earn pension for life even when lawmaking should ordinarily be on a part-time basis?
Any government who endorses such proposal is a devilish government. Have they provided water, road, and education electricity sufficiently for their people? Have they voted enough money for those items and see them materialise?
The Senate once proposed the same amendments under section 84 of the constitution and it hit the rock.
Now, the states are doing that. It shows the devil reigning in their hearts and not God, whom they profess to make our constitution under in the preamble to our said constitution.


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